ASAN, the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, has begun to sponsor a new Yahoo group for teens on the autism spectrum. Participants can be self diagnosed, and they must be at least 13 years of age. This group is being moderated by ASAN adult members. You can get more information on this group from the Southwest Ohio chapter of ASAN's blog.
I'm a big fan of this type of group. Many adults are wary of online interactions, and they think they're inferior to face to face communication. I don't think that's the case. Online is different, not necessarily inferior. Face-to-face friends are not always possible. Many kids on the autism spectrum are outcasts at school, maybe the only one with their diagnosis in the entire class or even grade level. These teens may not fit in with the other neighborhood kids, or with kids they meet on teams or in groups. Online communication can allow teens to feel connected to others who they may have a lot in common with. The online medium allows teens to filter out some really difficult and distracting social cues and still be a part of a community. It's tough to feel different, and this group will allow some teens to take an important social step. I hope parents will consider this group for their teens.
Patricia Robinson MFT
I'm a licensed therapist in Danville, California and a coach for Asperger's and ADHD nationwide. I work with individuals of all ages who have special needs, like Autism Spectrum Disorders, ADD, ADHD, and the family members and partners of special needs individuals.